Finding True Intimacy in The Sessions

The SessionsI have a new movie review for On Tap – Finding True Intimacy in The Sessions.

Starring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy, The Sessions is about Mark O’Brien, a paralyzed writer determined to lose his virginity at the age of 38. Hunt plays his sex surrogate. ¬†It’s a different kind of Hollywood film, in that it explores intimacy in sex rather than titillation.

But after watching the movie, I was much more interested in Mark O’Brien. A polio victim, he was paralyzed from the neck down and spent most of his life in an iron lung. Despite this, he was determined to be as independent as possible and found success as a journalist and poet. The fascinating story of his life is told in the documentary Breathing Lessons, which is free online and inspired The Sessions.

V/H/S: A Horror Flick for the YouTube Generation

vhsIn the latest issue of On Tap, I have an article on V/H/S, a new horror anthology that opens this week. In this bloody collection of short films, a group of thieves come across a stack of mysterious videocassettes, each more disturbing than the last.

Lots o’ blood, gore, genital removal, sex, nudity, impaling, screaming, running and shakycam. But if you’re into that kind of thing, then this is the movie for you.

I screened the movie on a laptop and had the chance to interview Joe Swanberg, one of the directors of V/H/S. His short film is pretty interesting – it’s a horror flick told by Skype, where you watch a guy and his girlfriend chat online, as things steadily go wrong. Directing two actors who were both on the screen for the entire movie was a real challenge, according to Swanberg.

It’s always interesting talking to directors – Swanberg¬†shared the thrill of seeing his flick on the screen at Sundance. When he heard the shocked gasps of 800 people in a theater, he knew he had succeeded.